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An-Archy and Justice: An Introduction to Emmanuel Levina's Political Thought
     

An-Archy and Justice: An Introduction to Emmanuel Levina's Political Thought

by William Paul Simmons
 

Emmanuel Levinas's phenomenologies of the face of the Other have opened new vistas for contemporary ethical thought, but their implications for political thought have remained largely unexplored. In An-Archy and Justice, William Simmons systematically examines Levinas's political thought from its foundations to its implications to fill this theoretical void.

Overview

Emmanuel Levinas's phenomenologies of the face of the Other have opened new vistas for contemporary ethical thought, but their implications for political thought have remained largely unexplored. In An-Archy and Justice, William Simmons systematically examines Levinas's political thought from its foundations to its implications to fill this theoretical void. Levinas worked against the predominant egocentric traditions in Western philosophy, claiming that in order to respond concretely to all Others the ego must rely on political institutions, yet these institutions must always be held in check by the original ethical relationship with the Other. In his penetrating and insightful analysis of Levinas's work, Simmons argues that Levinas's philosophy provides a new foundation for political thought by grounding the liberal state on an anarchical ethics. An-Archy and Justice is a ground-breaking and thought-provoking analysis of a profoundly creative thinker.

Editorial Reviews

Cecil Eubanks
Professor Simmons gives a clear and precise account of the development of Levinas's complex and challenging ethical thought, from Totality and Infinity to Otherwise than Being. This is but a prelude, however, to a masterful exploration of the relationship of Levinas's theory of ethics to the practice of politics. Here Simmons illustrates how Levinas's anarchical politics has much to teach us about the tyranny of a politics practiced for its own sake and about a culture in which ego dominates political discourse. An-Archy and Justice is an important addition to our understanding of Levinas, as well as the politics of our age.
October 2007 Dialogue
Simmons provides a reading of Levinas that is both critical of and compatible with the politics with which we are already familiar; rooting our agency and our policies in the Other will renew our approach to ethical and political activity.
Jeffrey Dudiak
The value of this book is that in it an introduction to the thought of Levinas and this thought's potential import for politics appear together, and flow into each other.
C. Fred Alford
It is a pleasure to read such a lucid presentation of Levinas. That Simmons writes so clearly about Levinas while at the same time developing the implications of his thought for politics is striking. Seldom have I seen clarity of presentation so gracefully combined with intellectual rigor.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780739107034
Publisher:
Lexington Books
Publication date:
10/28/2003
Pages:
156
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

William Paul Simons is an Assistant Professor at Bethany College and author of several articles on Levinas.

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